Should I carry a hiking pole even if I don’t use it regularly?

The greatest benefit of hiking poles is how they reduce discomfort while you travel. Whether you are carrying heavy bags, trekking across long distances, or simply need extra assistance to go up and down hills, these poles give you the support you need to make the journey easier and more enjoyable. The less you need to worry about the state of your knees, the more fun your hike will be.

Still, there will be days that you find you do not necessarily need the pole. Perhaps you are feeling particularly energetic, or you would like to have both hands free in order to maneuver across the terrain of the area you are hiking. If you do not plan on using the poles, the question arises – should you take these poles with you anyway, even though they are not in use?

Reasons You May Need the Poles

·        In Case of Injury – If injury should occur on your travel, the poles may become extremely necessary in order to help make your way down the mountain. One of the reasons that people like their hands free is because they expect to be climbing, jumping, and moving over terrain in which the poles may end up being an inconvenience. But when you are performing these actions, you also increase your injury risk, and should you injure your ankle, leg or knee on the trip, you will need the pole to help you get back home safely.

·        Moving Away Objects – A similar need for these poles will be if you happen upon something that needs to be moved to the side, where it would be more dangerous (or more disgusting) if you used your hands. For example, if there are spider webs in your path, or if you need to move away a thorny bush. Both of these can be moved with the stick so that you do not have to use your hands or pick up a stray and possibly dangerous stick on the trail.

·        Steep Angles – As great as it would be to be able to get anywhere easily with free hands, there may be times that you need to climb down a particularly steep angle, and when this occurs it is much safer to have additional support. The hiking pole can be used to provide you with increased resistance so that you will not find yourself slipping down the steep cliff.

If you have the room in your bag or a way of carrying these poles with you, you should always have them around. They are particularly useful if you injure yourself, and you may find that you have other needs for them on your journey. As long as you have a bag to keep them in or a method of carrying them that does not involve your hands, you should still try to keep your hiking poles with you in case you have a need to use them sometime on your trip.